Saturday, July 16, 2011

What's Wrong With Mastercam

Update 5-22-2014:

This blog is no longer going to be updated. All my focus has now shifted to my CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn. It's membership reads like a who's who of the CADCAM business. As of today it has almost 2,000 members and is very active. You won't find any CADCAM discussion group like it anywhere. Here are the group rules I've established for CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn:

This group is offered as an alternative to paid advertising based CADCAM discussion forums where the advertiser is always favored over users when push comes to shove. For years I experienced censorship and banning on paid advertising CADCAM forums, official CADCAM company run forums and on CADCAM fanboi blogs. The censorship and banned occurred when I called CADCAM companies and their fanboi's out on specific issues. That's not going to happen in this group to outspoken, knowledgeable, CADCAM users who posts facts... ever.

Comments should explain in sufficient detail why the technology you are discussing is a leading edge technology. Comments like "xyz CADCAM is the best!!!" or "abc CADCAM sucks!!!" will be deleted. Hard hitting, fact based, comparisons between different CADCAM products are acceptable and encouraged. Here is an example of what I consider to be an acceptable, hard hitting comparison:

xyz CADCAM has direct modeling tools that allow me to work quickly and easily on non-native solids. abc CADCAM has no real direct modeling tools because abc CADCAM only has a Replace Face tool for direct modeling and that adds a feature to the history tree. I find xyz direct modeling tools to be much better because our shop mostly works with non-native solids."

No personal attacks of any kind will be permitted on CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn

Update 4-23-2014: 


Is Mastercam A Well Developed Program That's Checked Properly Before Each New Release?

Are bugs promptly fixed on newly developed features with free service packs?

Should users of Mastercam have to pay for new features that when released are bug filled, badly incomplete, very poorly thought out, unstable and won't be fixed until the next point release at best and more likely many point releases in the future?

Think there is good reason so many accounts have been dropping and continue to drop maintenance for Mastercam?


Mastercam X8 Preview:

Mastercam X8 should be the best release of Mastercam in many, many years from CNC Software. There are major improvements to chaining, solids, the graphics display, etc.

CNC Software is claiming that the Mastercam Solids user interface has been completely redone with a new workflow and live previews. They also claim that every existing solid function has been updated.

Mastercam X8 will make it very clear just how much of an effect this blog and my LinkedIn group...

CADCAM Technology Leaders

...has had on CNC Software.

Bottom line: I've been right for many years about what a mess Mastercam had become and X8 proves just how right I've been. There is still a long way to go but X8 makes a good start at cleaning up the mess CNC Software has made of Mastercam. This is just the start but at least the start has finally been made.

Count on CNC Software and Mastercam fanboi's never admitting just how right I've been all along.

I'll be posting more specifics on Mastercam X8 in the next few days. It's about time CNC Software started to clean up this mess.

Update 1-23-2014:

One of the many effects this blog has had on CNC Software is that CNC Software employees are now permitted to take a much more honest and professional approach with Mastercam users who complain about Mastercam's serious problems on eMastercam.

This open, honest and much more professional approach is now being reflected in the responses you see on eMastercam from CNC Software employees David Conigliaro and Ken Erman. I hope this continues. It's a breath of fresh air compared to the evasive nonsense that has been so prevalent in the recent past from CNC Software employees with very few exceptions. Pete Rimkus comes to mind as someone who has been an exception and who has done a decent job. Hopefully even he can elevate his game with what appears to be a willingness by Mastercam's senior management to be much more honest about Mastercam many serious issues.

Why this had to take so long is sad but it's better than nothing and it's progress.

How many years will it take before users are first rather than dealers?

Major Update 12-18-2013: 

After 8 years, Steve Mastrangelo the Director Of Software Engineering for CNC Software, is no longer employed there. According to Steve Mastrangelo's LinkedIn profile, he's now looking for new opportunities. Not sure what this really means but in the 8 years Steve Mastrangelo was employed at CNC Software Mastercam did not get better in many areas. You don't make these kinds of changes when things are going well. I've asked him for commentary. I doubt I'll get it.

More Change:

It's really nice to see  more Mastercam users realize and post about the broken basics in Mastercam that have gone unfixed for over ten years and never get any attention. These badly broken basics seriously hamper both efficiency and productivity in Mastercam. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the area of Mastercam that should getting the majority of attention from CNC Software

As posted to eMastercam recently:

" view manager to work like level manger i.e. stay open all the time"

I requested this over five years ago both on eMastercam and in writing to Even better would be making the View Manager a tab on the Machining Operations manager instead of a big pop up dialog box.

"I'd love to see MC get more friendly for multiple parts, multiple workoffsets, and general tombstone setup and management. "

"and add sectional views!!!"

"We're seriously considering switching to Gibbs JUST to use the tombstone management system they have..."

Also requested all of the above starting five years ago. It's totally unacceptable that this is still the case. There has been absolutely nothing done in five years by CNC Software to Mastercam to make any of the above easier and more efficient.  It's for exactly these reasons I've come to dislike using Mastercam so much. If you want to see how things should be for multiple parts, multiple work offsets, and general tombstone setup and management take a look at this video:

How Mastercam Should Be Handling Multiple Part Setups

An idea that I never had but I think it's excellent and would be super helpful:

".. how about the ability to change the text color in the operations manager using individual colors. Some of my files have 300 operations and sometimes it would be nice to designate what operations are roughing vs finishing, and so on using different colors."

Basic functionality like drag and drop and copy and paste between different part files still missing in Mastercam:

"To expand on the drag and drop, it would be pretty useful to be able to run more then one instance of MC, and be able to not only merge files, but drag and drop tool groups or operations. I make templates now but when you are digging through stuff it would be pretty slick to just drag and drop instead of making a template file. "

As posted to eMastercam 12-6-2013:

"I have seen some admirable posts by you and harbor no ill will towards you or Jon Banquer.  If that is who you were referring to, I do not think he hates Mastercam users or their families.  He, like myself and many other people, is frustrated by the decisions and pathologies responsible for bugs and inconsistencies in Mastercam.  As I've said before, we are all in this together.  I understand why Mr Banquer's approach is offensive to some people, but there is nothing to gain from emotional rhetoric."
Thank you to those on eMastercam and elsewhere who totally understand what I'm saying and who have had the guts to defend me where I can't defend myself.  I especially appreciate those with a strong backbone who aren't wimps and who refuse to be bullied into being told I hate Mastercam users and their families.

I do not hold any ill will towards honest and realistic Mastercam users. I wish more Mastercam users  realized that if they keep backing down when pressured to do so, Mastercam will never improve.

While I do hold ill will towards some CNC Software employees who lie and who mislead Mastercam users, I appreciate CNC Software employees who refuse to attack me and who act professionally and do the best they can under very difficult circumstances. It's my sincere hope that one day soon you will work for an owner who is far more professional and far better at overseeing software development than your current owner is.


UPDATE 11-26-2013



I just finished watching the CNC Software Mastercam X7 MU1 Webinar. Viewsheets were introduced in Mastercam X2. In X7 MU1 you no longer have to go through all your previously created Viewsheets one by one and turn off a new Level that you might have turned on when you create an additional Viewsheet. What use to happen was any new Level that you turned on would get added to all the existing Viewsheets you had previously created and screw them up till you manually went through every single Viewsheet one by one and turned off any new Levels you created! This more often than not made using Viewsheets impractical as they were a total nightmare to maintain.

I believe it has been five years since Viewsheets were first introduced in Mastercam X2. That means it has taken five years for CNC Software to finally fix the problem with Viewsheets. I would love an explanation on how this can mean anything but lousy software development. To me this shows just how poorly Mastercam is developed and just how little CNC Software truly cares about fixing the massive amount of bugs that are in Mastercam!

Also shown were a ton of bug fixes to Mastercam's Transform Toolpath Mirror. Transform Toolpath Mirror has been buggy in Mastercam since I started using Mastercam at X2. 

Not discussed by Aaron Eberhard, who did the presentation and who I find to be a slick AE who is less than honest, were fixes to the new Tool Manager. My guess is CNC Software is embarrassed to show all the bug fixes to the new Tool Manager. 

Based on what I saw in the X7 MU1 Webinar, there is no way anyone who purchased X7 should have to pay for what are all bug fixes. X7 MU1 should be a free upgrade for anyone who purchased X7. There are numerous bug fixes to the new Universal Verify and Back Plot Simulator as well. CNC Software is desperately trying to find a way to remove the old Blackplotter from Mastercam. My guess is so they don't have to keep paying their former partner Northwood Designs, who they had a falling out with. I could be wrong about this but I don't think I am.

Bottom line is Mastercam X7 should never have been released. X7 MU1 might be the first time that X7 is not a total nightmare to use. Only time will tell. There is already talk of a possibility of X7 MU2. I hope this happens before X8 which is already being discussed. I think it's a huge mistake to not spend as much time as possible now to fix all the issues X7 has especially when it comes to the Tool Manager and the new Universal Verify and Backplot Simulator (UVBS). There does appear to have been a major effort to clean up the mess that UVBS was in. Seems like there is still more work to do and that more backplotting functions need to still get put in. These should be fixed first before X8 shows up. So should a ton of other stuff like drill point problems, Chaining inconsistencies between different toolpaths, Face selection issues, solid Chaining issues (been broken forever), etc. I find it very troubling that there is still no discussion of what's going to happen with Mastercam's totally outdated graphics pipeline. I asked this question at the end of the Webinar and was instantly disconnected from the Webinar. You can bet CNC Software will be checking to see if I'm in attendance next time!

The level of arrogance and obnoxiousness from CNC Software continues to reach new heights. Aaron Eberhard seemed embarrassed to have to cover so many bug fixes so a lot of important bug fixes that might have been done to X7 probably got skipped. That's too bad because for someone like me fixing long time bugs, that have existed for years in Mastercam, such as the major one Viewsheets had, is very important! I would think Viewsheets would impact almost every Mastercam user. At this point, Viewsheets might actually become a huge aid rather than being yet another half baked concept in Mastercam that doesn't work in the real world. Viewsheets use to be a major time waster. Now Viewsheets might actually be a huge help but it's like this kind of stuff is beneath Aaron Eberhard and is just a minor fix to a minor annoyance.

The schizophrenic approach that is often adopted by many CNC Software employees was also in full evidence in this Webinar. A few months ago Aaron Eberhard was claiming that eMastercam posters who were complaining didn't really reflect the issues that most Mastercam users had. Today in the Webinar, Eberhard couldn't thank posters to eMastercam enough and gushed over them.

With the arrogant, obnoxious and less than honest approach CNC Software takes to developing and marketing Mastercam, you can count on serious problems continuing to occur in Mastercam. Everything out of Aaron Eberhard's mouth was contact your dealer, let your dealers know first, etc. CNC Software thinks now, more than ever, that their market leading sales position will allow them to continue unabated with the obnoxious and arrogant approach that they have used for years. Wrong. Very wrong. See below for what's going to happen to CNC Software/Mastercam.

End Update.

On 11-7-2013 Autodesk announced they were buying Delcam. I feel this is the most significant change to happen in CADCAM in decades. It's going to put tremendous pressure on CNC Software because Autodesk just got as serious as a heart attack when it comes to CADCAM. See the CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn for extended discussion of this topic and what it means for users and for the CADCAM industry.
Many areas of Mastercam continue to get worse or get no attention at all. I feel the ideal owner to fix the huge mess that Mastercam is now in would be Vero Software. Many people that work for CNC Software use to work for companies that made products that Vero Software now owns (Alphacam, Edgecam, etc.). Vero Software seems to be doing a good job fixing their old legacy code products like Edgecam and Alphacam. Unlike the horrible job CNC Software had done with trying to modernize Mastercam, whose roots of being a DOS legacy code application still show very clearly when you dig a little below the surface, Vero Software has shown they can get the job done modernizing old legacy code CAM programs.

It will soon become evident that the real sales growth of Mastercam is over and that Mastercam's market share is starting to erode. CNC Software can't compete with Autodesk/Delcam and with others who had the kind of financial and technical resources that CNC Software doesn't and never will have. Autodesk is also the only company I know of that has the potential to break CNC Software / Mastercam's lock on the educational market.

The following comment which was posted to eMastercam is typical of how many Mastercam users feel about just how poorly Mastercam is being developed by CNC Software:

"We in jobs shops are time conscience and every new release is slowing us down."

Mark Summers is the owner of CNC Software. He's little more than a rich, over glorified, salesmen who is on a massive ego trip. Summers doesn't give a crap about Mastercam end users and is at his happiest when he's living in the past and telling stories about how he built CNC Software from humble beginnings. Mark just loves taking nostalgic trips down memory lane because back then Mastercam wasn't such a steaming pile of crap. What's really sad is that Mark Summers feels that people like me make his life miserable because he sees us as ungrateful, selfish and not having the respect he feels he and CNC Software deserve. Unfortunately Mark Summers doesn't live in reality and refuses to acknowledge that people like myself have spent way too many years dealing with both his and many of his employees constant excuses for the endless delays of refusing to fix  the core of Mastercam that's so broken. At this point more and more Mastercam users are now refusing to accept the B.S. from CNC Software employees and worhtless Mastercam fanboi's about why the badly broken basics never get fixed in Mastercam.

The WCS, viewsheets, levels, toolpath editor, graphics, machining definitions (that don't allow you to apply kinematics), needless and inconsistent Chaining, solid Chaining that isn't worth using because it's unreliable, proper tool numbering, lousy drilling (Name another program besides Mastercam that has an expensive add-in module just for drilling (Pro Drill)) and many other parts of Mastercam have all been broken or incomplete for years now. In some cases well over ten years!

Mark Summers has zero empathy for those of us forced to use his companies buggy and poorly designed software on a daily basis. Summers doesn't care one bit that using his companies software takes what should be an enjoyable and satisfying experience and turns it into a nightmare of workarounds and mundane tasks that result from very poor CADCAM software design.

To his credit what made Mastercam such a marketing success was that Mark Summers understood way before his competition did, and that others in the CADCAM business still don't understand, is the power of the educational market. CNC Software / Mastercam now has what amounts to almost a total monopoly in the US in the educational market. This monopoly isn't going to be broken anytime soon. I'd argue it's not worth the effort to break.

It's long past time for CADCAM companies to start focusing on new school marketing. That means firing the dead wood in your marketing department that can't get the job done. The dead wood is happy sucking a pay check. The dead wood would never rock the boat by telling you that your marketing sucks and why it sucks. What this means is you need to hire new people who have a clue about how the CADCAM business really works and empower them to do what needs to be done rather than making them try and conform to your old school marketing system that no longer works. Expecting quality marketing people to kiss your ass isn't going to get you the quality people you need to whip CNC Software ass like they've never had it whipped before. There are very few people that exist in the CADCAM business that can do this job and even fewer people who can recognize who these people are, hire them, empower them and keep them. 

Mastercam's competitors are just beginning to get a clue about what's going to be needed to break the Mastercam monopoly in United States... free educational versions, much better use of social media where two way communication is the norm rather than the one way communication that most CADCAM companies love, open and free web based support forums, lots of free or low cost video training, etc.

At this point I feel it's only Delcam, Geometric (CAMWorks) and Autodesk/HSMWorks who are close to understanding what really needs to be done in the United States to compete head to head with Mastercam and win. Autodesk/HSMWorks is taking the route of using many former Mastercam resellers who know just how weak Mastercam is and can exploit it to their advantage. Sadly, after many years of development, Autodesk/HSMWorks is still missing a ton of  basic functionality such as not being able to use more than one Coordinate System per Setup. Using HSMWorks for multi-part machining is a freaking nightmare because it's missing so much basic functionality. Ex Mastercam resellers don't have much in the way of ethics so hiding this kind of FACT is no problem for them. For this and many other reasons, Autodesk/HSMWorks is not a product I'd touch with a ten foot pole right now.

Here Is What It All Comes Down To:

If you work together with me for change we can put serious pressure on Mastercam's owner to change how he does business. Putting all your efforts into just posting on eMastercam isn't a very smart move and it won't have enough of an effect on changing Mastercam or the way CNC Software does business. Here Are Some Suggestions I Have For You:

Create You Tube videos showing the massive problems with Mastercam. Voice narration is needed.

Start your own blog discussing the problems you have with Mastercam. I'd be happy to link to your Mastercam blog and help you promote it.

Join my group on LinkedIn: CADCAM Technology Leaders and start speaking up about the problems with Mastercam and CNC Software in a factual way. See below for my rules for the CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn.

CADCAM Technology Leaders Group On LinkedIn: 

Already has over 950 members and it's very active. If you wish to join the group and start a discussion or comment you must be prepared to accept that it's not a group for product fanboi's. It's a group for those that can be objective:

Here are the rules I've established for CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn:

Comments should explain in sufficient detail why the technology you are discussing is a leading edge technology. Comments like "xyz CADCAM is the best!!!" or "abc CADCAM sucks!!!" will be deleted. Fact based comparisons between different products are acceptable and welcome. Here is an example of what I consider to be an acceptable comparison:

"SpaceClaim has direct modeling tools that allow me to work quickly and easily on non-native solids. SolidWorks has no real direct modeling tools and I find SpaceClaim much better because our shop mostly works with non-native solids."

No personal attacks of any kind will be permitted on CADCAM Technology Leaders

Some Help In Getting Mastercam FBM Mill To Work For You Rather Than Against You:

I'd like to start off by saying something positive on how to survive and make do with Mastercam FBM Mill that you will never read on eMastercam. Worthless Mastercam fanboi's constantly make fun of feature based machining on eMastercam but the fact is that well implemented feature based CAM programming saves a ton of time over the inefficient, old, all manual methods that Mastercam is based on!

Unfortunately, Mastercam FBM Mill is a very poorly designed and implemented milling feature recognition tool that attempts to take an old legacy program like Mastercam and make it work like a modern, better written program like Delcam Featurecam or Geometric CAMWorks. However, if you're stuck, like some of us are using an old legacy program like Mastercam, and you want to speed up the time needed to create many CAM programs, the tips shown in this video will radically help by showing you how to gain some needed control over Mastercam FBM. Mastercam FBM Mill outputs tons of inefficient crap no matter how you try and customize it.

I personally own most of the CD's produced by Mike Mattera on Mastercam. I can vouch for how good they are. In my case, Mike's Mastercam training CD's have easily paid for themselves with what I've gotten out of them over many years. Mike is truly an excellent Mastercam teacher and a very nice person as well. Others also create good Mastercam training but I don't know anyone who has made a CD that specializes in what I would label training on how to survive and prosper with a poorly designed and implemented concept like Mastercam FBM and make the most of it!

If you're a Mastercam user who is frustrated with Mastercam FBM, or who doesn't use it at all, I highly suggest you watch this You Tube video that Mike did for his new CD devoted entirely to Mastercam FBM. Mike shows you how to get control and create an efficient program with FBM Mill in this free video by copying the good toolpaths Mastercam FBM outputs to another Toolpath Group. This is much better than settling for the inefficient crap that Mastercam FBM Mill comes up with or simply not using Mastercam FBM at all and taking much more time than needed to produce many CAM programs:

How To Survive And Prosper With Mastercam FBM Mill

The Reality Of What Mastercam Has Become And What CNC Software Is:

There are now so many workarounds in Mastercam that it has become an inefficient program to use. I don't mind an occasional workaround but it has now reached the point where Mastercam has become a massive time waster and next to impossible to practically teach to new users. In almost all cases, one is much better off with a modern, well written CADCAM program, where everything isn't a workaround or a kludged together mess.

As posted to eMastercam:

"Why can't it just work? Why does everything (yes, I know I'm over-generalizing)
need to have a work around?"

Lousy Chaining and Boundary Creation Often Make Mastercam 3D HST Paths A Total Nightmare To Try And Apply Properly: 

As posted to eMastercam:

"I am creating a 3D HST pencil toolpath and it took no less than 20 containment boundaries to get it to produce FAIRLY good results.  The containment was set to tool center yet there was still machining being done that violated these boundaries.  This was not related to the arc entry/exit, but actual surfaces being machined.  Only after a bunch of hocus pocus, offsetting contours, and about 20 regenerations did I finally get a good toolpath."

"CNC (software), if you guys could fix this it would have saved me about 30-40 minutes on this toolpath alone and it would be a tangible gain for my maintenance $$$ spent.  It would be great if when I specify a containment boundary and set it to tool center it actually works the way it should.  This has been an issue for a LONG time."

"Also, this is exactly why I still use the old style surfacing toolpaths on a regular basis.  There is so much less drama and headache required to get good results.  It would be great if the day came where the HST surfacing toolpaths were equally as drama free.  They do regenerate much faster though, kudos for that.  I now find out it isn't working right in a fraction of the time, LOL!"

"I should keep a tally of how much time is burned with these issues so CNC (Software) could see just how much value they could add to their customers by fixing them.  In the last two hours programming this part I have wasted 40 minutes on two issues."

"I try to convey to our re-seller that what CNC (software) thinks are the "little issues" are a huge PITA on a daily bases."

"Man, if I called my reseller every time one of these little issues came up it would go from a big waste of time to a colossal waste of time.  Just add about 10-15 minutes to every bug encountered and were talking about 8-10 hours per month of time burned.  Same thing goes for creating a Z2G file, composing an email describing the problem and sending it off to QC.  5 minutes burned per issue and much more if the file is 100Mb like this one.  Much easier to just look for a work around I guess."

"That create boundary C-hook is one step ahead of "useless". The boundaries it creates are fairly inaccurate, not to mention very rough. Hard to believe, given modern computing power. The HST pencil tool path takes a ton of tweaking before you get anything acceptable."

"That is the main reason why I shy away from the new toolpaths. Containment boundaries are a band aid approach in some cases, as the surface should drive the tool position."

"How is one to keep the tool away from features they don't want to machine with these HST toolpaths then?  It is a real pain and something needs to be done about it.  There is so much tribal knowledge involved in making these really sing it is ridiculous."

Worthless Mastercam Fanboi's:

On thing you can always count on with Mastercam fanboi's is when realistic Mastercam users complain too long and too hard that Mastercam has become a bug filled, unreliable, steaming pile of crap, that the usual Mastercam fanboi's will rise up and start in again with their usual propaganda:

Examples of the usual Mastercam fanboi B.S. are:

How much progress have been made over the years in Mastercam.

Mastercam is better than hand coding.

They have made lots of money with Mastercam.

All CADCAM software has bugs.

All of these are lame excuses and attempts at misdirection from what the real problems are with CNC Software and with Mastercam. So is the excuse that more beta testers are needed and that this would help. CNC Software does in fact need a much more open beta testing program for Mastercam but it won't help because CNC Software doesn't listen to the limited beta testers it has now! To do beta testing on Mastercam you must be approved by your dealer. For many years CNC Software's owner has put Mastercam dealers before end users.

Here is a quote from a Mastercam fanboi that has no problem with being ignored by CNC Software despite being treated like crap by his dealer and having his beta tester application ignored by CNC Software. The more some Mastercam fanboi's are abused and treated like crap the more some of them are willing to keep living with a situation that's untenable. As posted to eMastercam:

"But, we aren't in good standing with our reseller, and even when we made a direct approach to CNC Software about it, it was ignored."

The sad fact is that CNC Software employee and director of Mastercam product development, Dave Boucher has no interest in being open and honest about what's so wrong with Mastercam and what CNC Software intends to do to correct the many long outstanding problems (some of these problems are now well over ten years old) with Mastercam. You can get a very good idea about who Dave Boucher really is and what he's all about by looking at his Twitter account. If you do so, you will find that Dave Boucher keeps his tweets private to his tiny clique of followers. Dave Boucher is completely obsessed with both myself and others he labels as "trolls". Boucher is desperate to do damage control because this blog is so effective at putting the pressure on CNC Software's owner, CNC Software employees and Mastercam resellers.

Anyone who thinks that Dave Boucher is doing a good job with Mastercam product development is not living in the real world. The fact is that Dave Boucher doesn't have the balls to stand up to CNC Software's owner and say enough is enough, we are going to rewrite this piece of crap from the ground up and do it right this time. Dave Boucher is scared to death of someone like me because try as he might he can't bullsh$t me or others that are objective and well informed and know I have it right. The best a spineless, pussy like Dave Boucher can do is to desperately try and discredit me which is exactly what he tries to do with others who correctly state what's wrong with CNC Software and Mastercam. I was born late at night... but wasn't last night and I know exactly what's so wrong with CNC Software and with Mastercam.

As posted 10-3-2013 to eMastercam by someone who Dave Boucher tried to publicly embarrass on eMastercam rather than thank for showing him just how buggy and unreliable Mastercam X7 SP2 is:

"This reply looks more like a public flogging to embarrass me then a helping hand."

Reading idiot Mastercam fanboi's on eMastercam heap praise on beta testers is about as stupid as it gets in my opinion. Good beta testers do it because they enjoy it and they don't need praise or financial rewards for doing what they enjoy doing. Something that Mastercam users, who aren't worthless fanboi's, need to consider is that if a CADCAM company has an honest approach to beta testing, and they truly want to fix as many problems as possible, then they use an open beta testing forum like McNeel has for Rhino or Autodesk has for HSMWorks. When a program has as many serious issues as Mastercam does, you need a much more open process and open beta testing forums. Here is an example of a much more open beta testing approach than CNC Software has for Mastercam:

HSMWorks Beta Testing Forum

Perhaps the most important point to take away from understanding beta testing is that beta testing isn't designed to correct major software design issues like Mastercam has. If you have any doubt about this I suggest you ask yourself how it's possible that ViewSheets, Levels, proper tool numbering and the WCS in Mastercam X7 still haven't been fixed and still lack needed basic functionality. These kinds of problems will never be addressed in beta testing because they are design problems and unfinished areas of Mastercam that CNC Software puts little or no emphasis on fixing.

eMastercam Censorship:

Posted this morning (9-26-2013) to eMastercam by someone who has noticed the rampant censorship that has existed for years on eMastercam and who isn't going to stay silent and just sit back and take it:

"Is it just me, or has the recent X7 update thread gone missing? ("Mastercam X7 Update", IIRC) I was gonna reply to it, now I can't seem to find it. "

His discussion has now been censored / removed as well. Here are other comments that were also censored / removed this morning:

"Wow. maybe this john banquer guy is right.or what ever his name is."

"Sometimes John is a little over the top with his disdain for CNC. They way things are going though more people will probably be on board with him. He does bring up some valid points."

"I agree."

This blog now has well over 100,000 page views in large part because of the rampant censorship that has existed on eMastercam for a long time now. For those with the guts to speak up on eMastercam about just how bad Mastercam has become, and who mention my name only to have your comments censored or your thread deleted, I know for a fact that you're making a difference. Despite the lies you read from CNC Software employees, eMastercam moderators, worthless Mastercam fanboi's or those with an axe to grind because I've exposed them for what they truly are, I'm no troll and I truly want what's best for Mastercam users.

When In House Solutions employee and eMastercam moderator Tyler Robertson posts the reasons for deleting entire threads and says what he said today (9-26-2012)...

"Got rid of the thread because it started to get on topic about a certain person who has no interest in civil discourse - nothing against the posters here sorry."

... know that Tyler Robertson is a liar of epic proportions. Tyler Robertson didn't just delete one thread he deleted many threads today just like he has done in the past. In addition, Tyler Robertson is very well aware of many people besides myself who have tried to have "civil discourse" with both In House Solutions and CNC Software. I and many others have met with nothing but stonewalling and "we will get back to you on that" tactics that have gone on now for over six years with both CNC Software and In House Solutions. I'm open and have been open to honest and "civil discourse" with CNC Software's owner and with In House Solutions but neither have any interest in honest "civil discourse". The sad fact is that Tyler Robertson is someone who has zero credibility not only with me but with many others as well. Tyler Robertson is a liar and a two-faced backstabber. He provides the kind protection and cover up "services" that CNC Software and In House Solutions want in the face of those who realize that Mastercam isn't being developed properly by CNC Software.

If you have the guts to state too much of the truth about Mastercam, CNC Software, mention my name or this blogs name, your posts to eMastercam will disappear. It's little more than a slimy intimidation tactic that only gets more Mastercam users angry and results in more people dumping Mastercam. If your comments or discussion doesn't disappear immediately, the usual Mastercam fanboi's or CNC Software employees will appear and give you a ton of crap for stating the truth about what Mastercam is and about how CNC Software does business. 

Send Your Bugs And Problem Files to


It's the favorite line used by Mastercam fanboi's, CNC Software employees and Mastercam resellers on eMastercam. One shop I worked for sent at least 50 files to and we never got any real answers and none of the bugs we reported were ever fixed. Finally, we stopped reporting bugs when it became obvious that CNC Software didn't really care about fixing the bugs we were experiencing and that CNC Software wasn't interested in making a bug list available. Send your bugs and files to doesn't help because the owner of CNC Software (Mark Summers) doesn't give a dead rats ass about fixing the serious bugs in Mastercam that often make Mastercam so unstable and such a headache to use. Many of these serious bugs have existed for well over ten years in Mastercam.

The Mastercam fanboi mentality has significantly contributed to Mastercam continuing to have major development issues. It's very sad that more Mastercam fanboi's refuse to wake up and pull their head out of their ass and get honest. Just as bad are Mastercam users who don't have the guts to speak up and say anything.

What follows is a quote from a former Mastercam fanboi who woke up and realized that Mastercam is falling further and further behind and isn't being developed properly by CNC Software. This guy has had enough and he's no longer willing to accept the lies, the spin control and the dirty tricks used by CNC Software employees like Aaron Eberhard or by some of eMastercam's moderators. For years eMastercam moderators have heavily censored valid complaints about CNC Software and Mastercam. eMastercam moderators like Jayson Kramer, John Paris and James Meyette all have put their own financial needs first before other users with valid and legitimate complaints about Mastercam and CNC Software. They have done so with the full support of both In House Solutions (who runs eMastercam) and CNC Software.

As posted to eMastercam in regards to the Mastercam fanboi mentality that has always dominated the eMastercam forum:

"Fanbois are always going to defend Mastercam and their shortcomings. I used to be right along there with them but with the last couple releases I've lost faith."

To those that think In House Solutions (they run the eMastercam forum) is on your side... they are *partially at present* only because Mastercam X7 is so weak that In House Solutions is now losing sales at much higher rate. In House Solutions is losing both new sales as well as income from their customers refusing to renew Mastercam maintenance.  In House Solutions employee Tyler Robertson is as dishonest and incompetent as they come and his long track record on the eMastercam forum shows exactly this. Someone like In House Solutions employee Tyler Yanta appears to be a little better but he's a first class wimp who isn't going to stand up and do what's right. He refused to do the right thing years ago and he refuses to do the right thing now. I have no doubt that In House Solutions employee Tyler Yanta knows exactly what's wrong but doesn't have the nuts to stand up and do the right thing. Too bad. He seems to be a much nicer and more honest person than a no good liar like In House Solutions Tyler Robertson is.

In House Solutions has long supported long time Mastercam fanboi's like Jayson Kramer, James Meyette, the racist "circle" clique, etc. At one point things got so bad for In House Solutions that they sued eMastercam founder and long time (12 years) In House Solutions employee Dave Thomson. In House Solutions are dishonest and unethical. Make no mistake, In House Solutions behavior is exactly what occurs when someone is given a monopoly, like In House Solutions has been given, for selling Mastercam in Canada. One of the very first thing that should happen, if new ownership of Mastercam ever occurs, is that In House Solutions monopoly of selling Mastercam should be broken up by adding new Mastercam dealers in Canada.

The sad fact is that most long time Mastercam fanboi's, who have insulated CNC Software for years from legitimate criticism and who have  protected CNC Software in every possible way, can now no longer live with how bad Mastercam has become. Suddenly, almost everything I've said about Mastercam for many years, they now support. What a sad joke these "a" holes are as people. Long time Mastercam fanboi's like James Meyette, John Paris and Jayson Kramer have a huge part in just how bad Mastercam has become. They have kissed CNC Software's senior managements donkey for many, many years and all of them have done everything in their power to discredit me and what I have to say about Mastercam and CNC Software. They thought that sucking up and kissing donkey was the answer to them protecting their income that they make with Mastercam. All the sucking up and kissing donkey has done is help advance the mentality that Mastercam's owner Mark Summers has had for years. That would be an attitude that's now permeated down through to many of CNC Software's employees.

We are now at the point that many CNC Software employees don't relate to the Mastercam user and are arrogant and obnoxious to those that have for years told the truth about what was happening to Mastercam. For sure, I'm one of them. Personally speaking, CNC Software employees Ben Mund, Steve Bertrand, Gene Welti, Karlo Apro, Graham Hargreaves, Colin Gilchrest, Dave Boucher, etc, all have a lousy attitude and all are completely out of touch with what the problems really are at CNC Software and with Mastercam. Not one of these CNC Software employees has the guts to stand up and do what's right for Mastercam and long suffering Mastercam users.

Mastercam X7 is a total mess and things have never been worse. The sad fact is that Mastercam X7 will never work properly no matter how many MU's (Maintenance Updates) are issued by CNC Software  because it's the core of Mastercam that's falling apart. Mastercam needs to be rewritten from the ground up since the job was never done right with Mastercam X. Until this happens, stock models will not work reliably because the core of Mastercam can't handle large files. In addition, the graphics pipeline in Mastercam is completely obsolete and needs to be torn out.

Mastercam X7 MU1 heads to beta shortly and this is the first chance that the unstable, bug filled mess that is Mastercam X7 might get slightly cleaned up.  I expect to see major progress made on X7 new Universal Verify and Backplot Simulator, the new Tool Manager hopefully will crash a lot less, Transform Toolpath is suppose to have some fixes done to it. Transform Toolpath, especially Transform Toolpath Mirror has been a cluster "f" for years in Mastercam.

If you have Mastercam X7 SP2 and you don't have maintenance you're about to get "f"ed because Mastercam X7 isn't a program that's good enough for production in my opinion. Should you have to be on Maintenance to get the coming bug fixes in X7... not a chance in h, e, double ll. This is as unethical as it gets. Since most all Mastercam users don't complain loud enough or hard enough this is what happens. Want change? Suggest you work with me for change. I'm not a Mastercam users worst enemy. I'm your best friend, whether you care to admit it or not.

Pretty much everything new in Mastercam X7 is an external program that opens and runs in its own Window. Mastercam has become a cobbled together mess of separate programs with a core that is in shambles and is crumbling. If Mastercam X8 isn't a total rewrite from the ground up, count on the same kind of problems that now plague Mastercam X7 and make it a nightmare to use. There is no easy or cheap fix for this problem. Mastercam is a mess and it will stay a mess until a complete rewrite happens. The only real progress you will see and have seen is on toolpaths and on external programs like the new Tool Manager and the new Universal Verify and Backplot Simulator. I'm sure ModuleWorks is working overtime to make the new Universal Verify and Backplot Simulator work a lot better than it does now. I find the Universal Verify and Backplot Simulator to be pretty much a useless toy that does nothing but frustrate me and waste my time.

The following was posted by CNC Software employee Aaron Eberhard to eMastercam. Aaron Eberhard is a slick AE salesman type who understands how to use spin and do damage control to string along Mastercam fanboi's who refuse to open their eyes and deal with the real truth about what Mastercam is. Like many CNC Software employees, Aaron Eberhard refuses to acknowledge publicly how poorly Mastercam is developed and what the real problems are.

"In this particular case, verify has been a sore spot for many years for a large portion of our userbase, and based on the requests we've received (from a variety of sources), this was our go at addressing those needs.

Contrary to a vocal few on the forums, the people I've talked to people in person tell me they love the new verify.  I know you don't, and I'm sorry about that, but the response in general seems overwhelmingly positive.  That tells me we're on the right track, even if it isn't perfect right out of the gate."

In the case of the new Verify in X7, CNC Software employee Aaron Eberhard refuses to acknowledge the real reasons why the old Mastercam Verify had so many issues with it.

Lets cut to the chase:

The new X7 Universal Verify and Backplot Simulator is not dependent on Mastercam's old obsolete graphics pipeline and switching to the stand alone ModuleWorks Simulator and backplotter allowed CNC Software to continue to delay ripping out the old, obsolete graphics pipeline in Mastercam X7. It also allowed CNC Software to start making progress on backplotting because their former partner NorthWood Designs hasn't done any work on the Mastercam backplotter in many years. Like Celerative (VoluMill) CNC Software seems to have had a problem with their former partner Northwood Designs.

Here is the reality about what the new X7 Verify is at this point:

It sucks and should have never been released as it stands now in X7 SP2. It's got a few advantages but they don't outweigh the huge disadvantages for Mastercam power users. I'm sure Aaron Eberhard knows this and he has not been forthcoming about it.

I believe Aaron Eberhard attempted to do the same spin and damage control when he was confronted with the facts of what the new X7 Tool Manager is on eMastercam. The new X7 Tool Manager should have been a lot better designed from the get go and and should have been much more comparable to WinTool right out of the gate. There is no excuse for it not being better designed right out of the gate. See below:

The new Tool Manager is all on CNC Software and as per usual CNC Software isn't listening to those that tell them what's wrong with it or looking at how others do tool management. I seriously doubt that CNC Sofware even considered looking at something like WinTool before they created their new Tool Manager because they are so arrogant and close minded. In any case, the new Mastercam X7 Tool Manager was released far too early, it's beyond buggy and crashes constantly. The main hope I have for it is that it's new modern code so fixing it should be easier than the core of Mastercam which can't be fixed and must be rewritten. Mastercam users should be comparing the new Mastercam X7 Tool Manager against something like this:

WinTool For Mastercam

It's time for Mastercam users to wake up and stop being worthless, clueless, fanboi's. Meaningful change will never happen while CNC Software owner Mark Summers controls Mastercam. Mark Summers arrogant and elitist attitude has now permeated CNC Software. Sadly many of CNC Software's employees need to be fired because they have the exact same arrogant and elitist atitude that Mark Summers has had for years.

As posted to eMastercam by a long time Mastercam user:

"I truly do hope that the right people have this brought to their attention. After my meeting with Brian Summers ( Vice President ), Doug Nemeth ( Corporate Sales Manager ) and Kevin Hesch ( In-House Solution Sales ) last summer, I came out of the meeting with the general sense that the "upper tier" of CNC Software is completely out of touch with their customer base, and have no clue as to the severity of their core customers issues and complaints. I asked a lot of pointed questions to which the answers were met with red faces. My main agenda was trying to get them to understand that their main customer base was less interested in new bells and whistles, and more interested in getting what we already have to function the way it is supposed to. Again, issues that were introduced in "X",  ten years ago, are still outstanding issues.

I have done nothing but support In-House Solutions for 21 years and counting, and we currently hold 14 Mastercam Mill/Lathe licences. I believe my voice should be heard. Paying maintainence for these seats equals a lot of money. If our company treated our customers with the same disregard that CNC Software treats their customers, our customers would turn their backs on us. Perhaps the time has come for Mastercam's user base to follow suit."

My response to the above:

I grew up in Connecticut. I lived there for 36 years of my soon to be 52. Way before the meeting you describe above took place I had friends that worked at CNC Software in Tolland, Connecticut. At that time I was using Gibbs software which was the first product I know of to focus very strongly on solid cut part simulation... so much so that it was known at that point as Virtual Gibbs. I showed a VHS video tape of Virtual Gibbs to a friend who worked for CNC Software in tech support. He was totally blown away by Virtual Gibbs and he asked to borrow my VHS video tape. He showed my VHS video tape of Virtual Gibbs to Mark Summers owner of CNC Software / Mastercam. Mark Summers laughed at him and told him who cares we are number one in the market. Mark Summers was both arrogant and dismissive of Virtual Gibbs and he wasn't happy at all that his employee showed him my VHS video tape of Virtual Gibbs. He didn't care at all about technology or the better approach that Virtual Gibbs had that Mastercam didn't. At that point, Virtual Gibbs was using their own solid cut part simulation that they had developed. They were not using MachineWorks for solid cut part simulation, which if I remember right, didn't even exist yet. Virtual Gibbs was years and years ahead of its time! 

As posted to eMastercam in regards to bugs in Mastercam X7 SP2:

"They released X7 buggy as He## and rather than fix the bugs with a service pack, which would be the logical and moral thing to do, we only get fixes if we pay maintenance. I'm sorry but that is like buying a car have the motor blow up and them say oh we're sorry you will have to buy next years engine if you want it to run right."

 "CNC told me no more service packs all other bugs will be fixed in MU1. Been waiting over a month to use, but who is counting. LOL. I don't think I have seen this many bugs since x2. Oh wait half the bugs re-appear with every release. Glad we spend $1000's of dollars in maintenance (robbery) every year!"

"Oh, quit yer whining.You're just being one of those few, pesky, vocal people on internet forums. The vast majority of the users like it, get with the program."

"That is Mastercams motto.   The benefits far outweigh the problems. I'm sure that is the rationality behind releasing software that is so buggy."

"I installed it, right into my filing cabinet, I'm not sure I will ever install it, just too many problems..."

"Does anyone have a clue when the MU1 is going to be released. I would like to know so I can see if it is going to be stable and fluid enough in my workflow. Our company will be having some big decisions to make if they haven't raised the quality bar high enough. "

"I am still using X6 mu2 here.  I am not sure why I am waiting to make the change to X7. X6 mu2 is littered with bugs as well."

"Wait excuse me, it's just us select disturbed and demented individuals who want something that works properly. We need to drink the Kool-Aid and we will all be happy."

As posted to eMastercam in regards to Mastercam X7 new Universal Verify and Backplot Simulator (UVBS):

"X7 sp2 is nearly unusable to me right now because of the verify. It opens painfully slow compared to old verify, the quality of verified part is a joke and trying to save an STL from the verify results is hopeless. I've had more crashes this week with X7 verify than what I've had last couple of years with previous versions. The only thing that keeps me using X7 right now is the much improved processing speed of toolpaths."

"We have been having trouble using the STL's from X7 verify so I did a little test on a simple part. The first picture is from X6 and is 798 KB using .001 tolerance.  The second picture is form X7 and is 36,619 KB using .002 tolerance.  Thats over 45X larger with twice the tolerance."

"... X7 seams to have changed the way it saves STL's making them almost totally useless.  I was able to import STL files into our simulation software for reference but know it just crashes because the files are too large."

"I consider this a bug/severe limitation since it is totally unusable like it is.  Changing the tolerance will help, but not enough to fix it.  Something is wrong with the engine.  As you mentioned, this is a first, all other past versions have been fine."

"The only way I have been able to use STL's from X7 at all is to open them in meshlab and simplify them as much as possible..

I totally concur that this is a severe step backwards from X6 and previous versions.. I have managed to work around it thankfully but there is certainly something very wrong with how STL's are generated in X7."

"When I attempted to try using STL models to drive rest rough paths the huge STL filesizes X7 generates were killing my system which is an i7 with 32Gb of ram.."

"Here we are again talking about stock models for verification. This has been brought up before. They do work okay for verification as long as you don't have very many stock models in your ops manager. If you are at all human we make mistakes and if you have to change something 5 stock models back now you have to sit and wait to regen all 5 if you have done them sequentially. Don't get me wrong, stock models have there place especially for rest roughing and such but they are not effecient enough for verification. I would like to have my useable STL's back."

"I agree, stock models aren't fully supported due to size etc.  If you have a very complex part and must have many stock models for finish operations, they can not reside in the file. So...We need/should be able to have a normal STL export function."

"There is clearly some serious problems when every STL file that you save from verify is 10x or more bigger that in X6. We just renewed maintenance but are left with unusable software. Will there be any improvements about this in X7 MU1?"

"I just finished re-installing X6..."

"X6 watertight issues occurred sometimes but the overall quality and comfort is something more important to me right now. While I do 90% of the programming here, I'm also the prove out guy and I need to know what’s going to happen, for my heart and sphincter's sake. These fixtures are too $$$ to risk crashing so I'll take peace of mind any time."

"We are a medium sized shop that is allowing all the mill guys to use mastercam. We have both x6 and x7 installed on our computers. So many of the guys are frustrated with x7 verify and its dependability.

Is there or can someone at cnc software make a video on how to use this and compare with accuracy. Right now i have been playing with it for months intermittently and still cant get the results like x6 ."

"One thing that I don't understand is why there isn't a user interface for changing <PrecisionFactor>1.0</PrecisionFactor> (from the XML file... mine is now set at 2.5)"

"The slider changes the precision but there is still artifacts that are way too large for almost any cutting work. you can accurate zoom, but without knowing being able to see where the problem is due to the triangulation, what's the point? I would rather run the verify 2x as long, and do other work in the process and only have to check it once, rather than be zooming in and out of regions trying to find my problem. Maybe that's just me?? "

"No it's not just you. I also have my Pfactor set at 2.5. That has been my biggest complaint about UVBS from the start is the initial visual quality. Even with the Pfactor at 2.5 I get a lot of visual artifacts that look like they may be a false cut. And even at a Pfactor of 2.5 on the large parts I do they are huge artifacts so I still find myself doing a lot of zooming and unzooming. It seems like the precision is somehow scaled to the size of the part. The other problem with running the Pfactor at 2.5 is the load times for a large part with a lot of toolpath. Sometimes it is unbearable when you are in a hurry."

Stock Setup in Mastercam X7 is a typical example how poorly Mastercam X7 has been designed:

"I kept thinking all the stock options were in the new stock setup window, and there was nothing left in the old place. I guess to get your stock correct you have to visit two totally separate stock setup areas. Brilliant!"

Mastercam Keeps Getting Replaced In Southern California. 


See below for a link about the latest account that I know of that has removed Mastercam in Southern California. Many long time Mastercam accounts have had enough of workarounds and buggy software that can't get the job done efficiently. For years they've had to listen to lame excuses from CNC Software and they are tired of how CNC Software does business. There is no doubt in my mind that the rate that Mastercam is being replaced in Southern California will continue to escalate.

From the link below:

"By the time the custom product is designed, it is typically already very close to the time it needs to be delivered to the customer,” said Mr. Freeman. "The CNC software we used in the past caused major delays because it would not recognise the geometry or features of our SolidWorks models.”

Another problem Mr. Freeman found with the company’s previous programming software was limited technical support. "We sometimes needed to have a custom post-processor written to meet our specific requirements,” he remembered. "We found that our previous CNC programming software supplier was unable to deliver new posts on a timely basis.”

Mr. Freeman reviewed more than ten programming packages before selecting FeatureCAM. "FeatureCAM was very easy to learn,” he said. "The program is so intuitive that I received the software on day one and produced our first CNC code on day two. We stopped using our previous software package and began using FeatureCAM for all of our work on the same day.”

"FeatureCAM has substantially streamlined our programming process,” Mr. Freeman added. "When we modify the geometry of a part that has already been programmed, we simply import the new geometry into FeatureCAM and associate it with the existing part program. The software recognises the features and geometry of the new model automatically and associates them with the existing toolpaths. In most cases, there is no need to change the strategies so we simply check the modified toolpaths to make sure they are correct and run the post to generate the new program. The entire process takes only about fifteen minutes.”

FeatureCAM also provides the ability to evaluate features in new designs and recommend toolpaths automatically. "Nine times out of ten the toolpaths recommended by the software are correct, plus it is easy to edit the remainder to get exactly what we want,” Mr. Freeman said.

"The technical support provided by FeatureCAM is far superior to our previous supplier,” Mr. Freeman added. "For example, if I need a post that provides a special feature, I can send the details to Delcam in the morning and have my new post back in the afternoon.”

Release after release after release of Mastercam the badly broken basics never get fixed. Isn't it time to get angry with CNC Software and demand ViewSheets, Levels, proper tool numbering and the WCS get the attention they deserve? What does it say to you when CNC Software employees  suggest that Mastercam users modify all their posts because Mastercam can't even assign tool numbers properly?

Here is a recent post (7-27-2013) to the eMastercam forum complaining that Mastercam X7 can't get tool number, length offset number and dia numbers to work properly. In my experience this has been a problem on and off for years with Mastercam and shows how the foundation of Mastercam is crumbling because Mastercam is such an old legacy code CADCAM program:

"I have recently upgrade to X7 and I am having a problem with the tool number, lenght offset number and the dia offset number. I would like the default for these to all be the same. this worked flawlessly in X6 and doesn't seem to behave that way in X7. I have some tool path libraries that I have been managing over time and regularly import them into new parts. They used to automatically get assigned the next tool number in order that was available in the part program and the length offset and dia offset would also be assigned that same number. How do I get X7 to behave that way? I have tried to using the "renumber tools" in the operations manager, but I still don't seem to be able to get the length offset value and the dia offset value to be the same as the tool number. I have been dithering with parameters in the control definition and the tool setting page of the Machine group properties with no results. Any advice?"

Suggestion from CNC Software employee:

"You can add a Global Formula to you post that will override the settings in Mastercam.

At the top of your post, add the following two lines of code, starting in the first column:

tloffno$ = t$
tlngno$ = t$

That will make your diameter and length offset numbers always match your tool number."

Updated 8-26-2013 

Others Join Me In Having Serious Contempt For Upper Management At CNC Software:

As posted to eMastercam

"One thing I thing CNC software should pay close attention to is with every release more and more of their customers seem to be running out of patience with the bugs. I had been pretty vocal around when X3 was coming out and things never got better so I just gave up. I believe a lot of CNCs customers have some serious contempt for the upper management at CNC and how things are being run regarding the reliability of their software. With every release I am seeing more long time Mastercam fanbois starting to express frustration at the bugs... If I had a friend getting ready to start a shop came to me and asked what cam package to buy I would not tell them to look at Mastercam first. it would be on the list, but not first. If I was starting over from scratch I would probably NOT buy Mastercam and I'll bet a lot of other current Mastercam customers share this sentiment.

I know all software is buggy but Mastercam takes the cake. I recently bought Vericut and spent more than double what I paid for my Mastercam level three license and it is one fantastic piece of software and I have zero complaints about the functionality, reliability, or customer service. It is fantastic software and owning it produces a very tangible return with respect to work flow and efficiency in my shop. See CNC, it can be done. Complex software can be made to run reliably, it just has to be a priority. Continue to take your customers for granted and your competition will be kicking your @ss in ten years. I will change my CAM package just to spite you.

I am one of your customers and I am tired of feeling like a first class, maintenance paying SUCKER!"


Updated 8-23-2013:

After 21 Years Another Mastercam User Has Had Enough

As posted to eMastercam:

"...bottom line is that X7 is just another Failed release. We aren't Pi$$ing and Moaning we are just telling the truth." 

"I am sorry, but they have totally missed the mark by pushing this out to soon. I would have thought they would have learned their lesson after the initial release of X6. There are so many features that I use in the old backplot and verification that are missing in UVBS that I am going back to X6 for the time being. It looks like we are going to start shopping around for something new. Our owners are very displeased with X7. I have been fighting to keep it for the last couple years.They believe CNC is just after the maintenance dollars. It's going to be a big change after 21 years with Mastercam."

I've been saying for years now that CNC Software needs to be sold to an owner who cares because Mark Summers (owner of CNC Software, Brian Summers is his brother) doesn't care and doesn't know how to properly develop CADCAM software. This Mastercam user clearly gets what the problems are with CNC Software and with Mastercam. This is what he posted to eMastercam today:

"They believe CNC (Software) is just after the maintenance dollars"

"Truer words have never been spoken. This was exactly one of my comments to Brian Summers when I met with him last year. His red face spoke volumes. My reasoning was that CNC Software has the largest user base, and quite likely, the highest percentage of customers paying maintenance dollars. Given that, their revenue would be vast which SHOULD facilitate proper testing and development of the software. Ultimately, we the users, essentially are nothing more than an unpaid test-bed for their software. The crap that CNC has released over the last 2 or 3 years should be embarrassing to them. It still boggles my mind that issues that surfaced with the "X" product line are still issues. How long has it been now?  10 years ??????  Most of us just have too much time, or money, invested in the software to switch to something else, and CNC just takes advantage of this fact. The best thing that could ever happen to CNC Software would be to have someone buy them out, who actually care about their customers success and take their software offering seriously."

Updated 8-15-2013:


Nice to see more long time Mastercam users get tired of being treated like crap when they complain about how buggy Mastercam X7 is. Without a doubt this guy is being treated with no respect because he has the nerve to complain that Masterecam X7 is bug filled piece of crap that should never have been released:

"Ever heard of an NDA?  I can't upload the file

I thought the old verify was the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you tightened up the tolerances, it was unbelievably accurate. My only peeve was the speed, a 14 blade impeller could take days to verify.

So now it's all been changed. Where do the jack holes at mastercam get off thinking I have time to learn new sh%t for no reason. I'll tell you this, if I'm going to sit down and take the time to learn new software, it's going to be Hypermill,

So, anyway, after I posted my question, MC crashed, (imagine that) When I restarted, the stock model in verify showed up correctly.

Like I said, what a bunch of horsesh%t.

What really pisses me off, when I started working here, this was a Gibbs shop. I had been programming in MC since V6, so they sent me to Gibbs school. I hated it. I finally convinced the owner to pull $@##@@#.@@ out of his a$$ and buy MC. So now, everytime there's an MC problem, everybody looks at me like it's my fault.


Updated 8-8-2013:

Finally a poster to eMastercam tells the truth about how poorly Mastercam is being developed. I've been saying the same thing for many years. Now the truth can't be hidden any longer. Many Mastercam users have started to get real and it doesn't get anymore real than what follows:

"They are way behind in the ball game, mill turn should have been in the first version of X. An un named few kick as in mill turn. CNC is lagging bad and headed in the wrong direction. The tool manager is a good idea but get rid of the old way of doing things. That's the main problem with new features. The old way is still there and people tend to stick with what they know. Problem is it conflicts with the new stuff. Quit dumping new versions out that are far from ready. CNC, your just piiissssing people off!!!!"

Too bad when I said stuff like this I had to put up with years of abuse from worthless eMastercam forum moderators and fanboi's. In addition CNC Software employees Ben Mund and Steve Bertrand tried to jerk me around with the games CNC Software loves to play.

Banning me on eMastercam didn't help Mastercam development and it didn't help In House Solutions. What it did was delay the inevitable crash and burn rather than address the problem much earlier. The sad part is CNC Software is still in major denial and hasn't hit bottom yet. 


Updated 8-7-2013:

The problems with the Mastercam X7 Tool Manger don't go away even after two service packs. As posted today to eMastercam: 

"It took me almost an hour just to create 6 standard tools and holder/assembly combinations.... Crashed probably 7 times. The little "box" did show up a couple times, but not consistently and I never saw "no". I was trying to expand the columns on the "tool" tab in between "name" and "diameter, when all of a sudden the column shrinks and I mysteriously have 2 copied tools."

"Sincerely frustrated with this and MachSim..."



Updated 8-6-2013:


Mastercam users complaining about X7 Verify are now so frequent and so common that it's become a major embarrassment for CNC Software.

CNC Software is now desperately trying to take complaints about X7 Verify private.

As posted today to eMastercam by CNC Software employee Aaron Eberhard:

 "FillingDave - I sent you a PM on here to discuss the issue you're having and to get some more details.. Please let me know if you didn't receive it."

"CamMan1 - I also sent you a PM on here to discuss your issues and concerns. Please let me know if you didn't receive it."

Want to check your toolpaths against what you define as fixtures in Mastercam X7 Verify?


"How do you define "Fixtures"?  The help file doesn't seem to be very informative..."


"Fixture were not included in this release."

Response To Answer:



Updated 7-31-2013:


A poster to eMastercam realizes that being a Mastercam fanboi isn't productive and that being honest and objective about what Mastercam is and how poorly CNC Software develops Mastercam is the only way to fly: 

"I have been working on and building computers since the early 90's and I have been running Mastercam for almost 21 years so I believe I have enough experience to state my own opinion. I just believe they should not have inegrated the Verify until it was fully functional and as bug free as possible. Remember It's just my opinion. I used to be a Mastercam Fanboi too, not any more. "

Updated 7-30-2013: 


Posted to eMastercam by a Mastercam X7 user who isn't going to back down and knows exactly how bad the new solid cut verification in Mastercam is:

"In my opinion we have all become beta testers. I have not seen a bug free release in years. I believe the new Verify should not have been released in the state that it is in. I would not even consider it a beta maybe an alpha. A large portion of the features don't even function yet and the ones that do function are abysmal. I have been told by some forum members and CNC employees not to use the verify as a way of checking my toolpaths but as a tool to check holder collisions. That I should use stock model for gouge checking and comparing. Well it's kind of hard to see how much tool engagement I may have in a certain area on a part when the stock model is doing everyting in the background. The quality of the visuals is so poor in the new Verify that I have too zoom in to an area and accurate zoom that area and then run the toolpath for it to somewhat resemble what I am working on. Then when I unzoom that area the cuts I just made disappear and I find myself having to spend all my time zooming and rezooming and rerunning toolpath over and over. I can't understand with all the other problems Mastercam has that they could possibly release the Verify in this state."


Updated 7-28-2013:


Other Bloggers Finally Admit I'm Right About How Poorly Mastercam Is Developed

"Mastercam is currently riddled with bugs that should not be there as they were reported years ago. Nearly all new functionality they put on their MU releases (Maintenance Update) has bugs. They are incapable of developing bug free code these days. (Yes, it’s impossible to develop bug free CAx as I said earlier, but not even a speed&feed calculator?) – You may think it’s because they are doing everything internally right? Oh boy, Mastercam is one of the worse patchwork examples out there."

"However in order to secure your maintenance check every year, CNC software releases software riddled with bugs ignoring all problems reported by their loyal customers. It’s a managerial and ethical problem. I have said before that if every new release of Mastercam was a new car, we would hear about a lot of casualties on the TV. Their brakes fail, their engine overheat, their doors fall with the car in movement…"

"Anyway, I can expect some lampooning every time someone criticizes them. It’s an old strategy used since the beginning of the civilization. Very commonly used by CNC Software and some of their customers."

"Mastercam has always made a poor usage of MachineWorks, and for quite some time people thought that it was because they were licensing the basic package from them. They were not. They always had the full package, but due to a poor implementation that was rarely revisited, Mastercam customers were struggling with it. They had all support and access they needed from MachineWorks development team, but never cared too much. Were you thinking MachineWorks was the villain? Just look around and see their performance on other mainstream apps out there, and then do the math.

The adoption of ModuleWorks verification engine was a political and convenient decision made by CNC Software management. It was not because MachineWorks was incapable of doing it better but rather because of many internal stuff I can’t and won’t disclose. That’s the truth whether you like it or not. They let politics to affect their customers. They committed a corporative sin.

The million dollar question now is: Is Mastercam X7 verifier buggy because of the typical incompetence of CNC Software to use components in their software or ModuleWorks missed the spot after several successes?

Will the ModuleWorks engine get fixed in Mastercam? Sure thing. But their startup showed again a pattern in how CNC Software deals with new Mastercam releases: More care about securing your check than with quality assurance and customer feedback. And yes, they ran global customer satisfaction surveys after the X6 disaster so they know what is expected from them."

Concludes with a message to CNC Software:

"What you probably don’t know by now is that your poor quality control is now the joke. Your bugs are on the daily news of the CAD/CAM world."

Updated 7-24-2013:


It didn't take long for X7 users to realize that SP2 didn't fix many of the issues in X7:

"mastercam x7 sp2 has caused the simulation to creep to a stand still. anybody else getting this?... setting to change maybe?"

"some serious issues with verify... first I used the 5axis simulator button... super super slow!....
second time I used the 3x button and verify cuts half the part off when I worked on the backside of the part...."

"I talked to mastercam today they said they know they have some issues"

"I also installed SP2 this morning and it doesn't seem to help the lag issues. I just had to go back and open an X5 file with MCX5 and it verified really fast."

"I have the same issues with verify lag here also (5axis sim)... super slow... verify set to 3 axis caused the verified graphic part to be hacked up."

"SP2 I think is Worse!!  I deleted the .ini and .sim files, no help. "

"Yeah I got to admit as hard as I am trying to like the new Verify I believe they really screwed the pooch on it. No matter what I do with the new verify or how I use it it is slowing down my productivity. Even with all the other features it has over the old verify it is hands down much slower to work with. I am already burnt out on the accurate zoom. I probably have to use it a thousand times a day. Well I have pretty much been a Mastercam fanboi until now. Time to start looking at alternatives as much as I hate to. Can't keep waiting for Mastercam to get better."

Some realistic Mastercam users have finally started to fight the constant B.S. doled out for years by Mastercam fanboi's on eMastercam that you must spend huge dollars on a separate program like Vericut.  

Solid verification in Mastercam has always lagged badly behind all its competitors.

For Mastercam X7 CNC Software dumped MachineWorks and went with ModuleWorks for all solid simulation. I believe the reason CNC Software did this was because the graphics pipeline in Mastercam is an old obsolete joke and CNC Software doesn't want to spend the money to replace it. The ModuleWorks simulator uses its own graphics engine and runs in its own user interface. This was a cheap, short term fix for Mastercam's huge graphics problem. For years CNC Software has known Mastercam graphics are the worst in the business and they have refused to do the the right thing for Mastercam users and replace the obsolete Mastercam graphics pipeline that causes so many problems for Mastercam users. CNC Software employee Ben Mund has admitted to me on the phone that the Mastercam graphics engine needs to be replaced, that chains and chaining arrows often disappear and are hard to see, that solid simulation needs a ton of work, etc. yet release after release nothing is done about Mastercam serious graphics issues. Mastercam X7 is yet another release of Mastercam that has horrible, obsolete graphics.  

"2D Lathe is great for Travel limits and crash moves, Backplot doesn't show those. The company I am with now puts all the accountability on the programmers(It sucks and I am currently changing the way they do things), but we a have 2 new programmers that are just starting out, even though 2D lathe is simple, it isn't for the newbies and I thought a 2D Mach Sim would and could certainly come in handy. I think Vericut is way to complex for what we need, Which is why I can't understand why Cnc software never made a simple 2D lathe (horizontal and vertical) Sim file."


It's truly amazing how shutting down Mastercam and restarting it fixes so many problem in Mastercam. This has been true since the release of Mastercam X and continues unabated in Mastercam X7. Here are some quotes from eMastercam users who have noted the same thing I've noted for years:

"Has anyone had any issues when doing any xform functions in X7 to where it just stops working?  I was laying out some wire profiles and it just stopped creating the geometry.  The group would turn RED but there would be no resulting PURPLE group.  I could run ram saver and get it to work again, but after a couple tries it would stop working again."

"Does that in X6 also, I can not narrow it down to how it happens yet.

Today copied 8 surfs and 6 lines to an empty layer, tried to chain the rectangle and it stopped at the corners. I looked at the # of entities on that level and it was 42, delete duplicates wouldn't find them either. deleted them one at a time, again weird and random"

"Restarting Mastercam is the fix. Also sometimes right-click in level's manager stops working. Same fix."

"I know restarting mastercam is the fix.  But was happening so often for me that I was spending too much time saving and restarting so the ram saver was another work around."

"Happens here all the time. very frustrating to have to restart."

Mastercam users upset with losing MachineWorks (old Mastercam Verify) in Mastercam for solid cut part verification keep posting how much they miss it:

"I can't stand X7 verify and won't be using X7 unless it gets cleaned up or simplified."

A poster to eMastercam tells it like it is about how far behind Mastercam is when it comes to proper support for programming CNC lathes:

"I am looking to get a Mach Sim for a 2 axis VTL. Anybody from Mastercam land have any ideas why after 7 versions of X we still don't have Mach Sim files for turning? :thumbdown:

Sure would be nice to see travel limits or crash moves in those machines as well. Especially since our business is about 75% turning and we have about 35 Turning centers. Maybe one of the Gurus can break from their golf game to create one?"

"I don't understand why after all these X versions Mastercam hasn't come up with a Lathe for Mach Sim. It really sucks to have to pay another company 50,000 for a stupid verification software when Mastercam should be able to do it with in the software."

"I think it's time to get the boys from CNC software to realize that turning is as important as everything else. Maybe they can come up with a standard 2 axis horizontal and Vertical Mach Sim."

Updated 7-15-2013:

Many Mastercam users posting to eMastercam continue to be totally unsatisfied with the new X7 Verify:

"Now is a nightmare. I can run it 1-2 times without problems and then it cannot calculate whatever and whatever else, it freezes and crashes."

"The main issue is a long lag time up to 30 for verify to launch.  I get the message "processing nci data" and the verify screen is frozen for up to 30 seconds.  This time increases if I use a saved STL file and it also increases when I add more tool paths."

"The new angular selection sectioning in X7 is worthless."

"What happened to the scissors that let me section wherever I wanted. The new angular selection sectioning in X7 is worthless."

"I raised this subject, & a few other verify issues, more than once in the (now deleted) X7 beta threads. I received the same lack of a response each time."


Updated 7-1-2013: 


Disgust with Mastercam X7 continues unabated on eMastercam:

"The tool manager is completely un-usable for me and Im sticking to x6 for now."

"A just released version and we are talking SP2 already. Sounds like trouble! I am not installing this pos on my computer."

"I don't like having to edit my feeds and speeds on 50 toolpaths because I am using the same tool to do 3 different operation types."

"I've had X7 loaded for over 8-9 months now. Tool library and custom tools issues is what keeps me from using it for daily production."

"I am just going to go back to X6 because I can't take the time to deal with this on every part I program. I have had the same tool library since X and it's been a major work in progress that is a lifesaver when programming a complex part. I really don't want to re-create all of these tools."

"I'm not seeing how these tools now all of a sudden are corrupt. I've had plenty of files with similar sized tools or identical tools with different tool numbers/feeds/speeds that aren't corrupt and they work just fine in every single version prior to X7. I dont see why I should have to spend time on 'fixing' tools that are perfectly fine so I don't get an erroneous error message and mess up my file every time I open them in X7."

"Open the new tool manager and enter your data as fast as you can. Do NOT fart around. You may only have a couple minutes to enter all that data. If it takes you longer to enter that data, the tool manager will NOT save the tool or may crash."

Updated 6-21:2013:


"OK. Sign me up for this problem too. I got an error when trying to post, see the pic "multiple tools error". And the other picture shows a tool path that's not dirty but the tool is not even listed but look in the Quick View window and that's the tool. This is turning into a real mess, especially when it doesn't seem to know what it's posting. This is just a small sample of the tool issues I've been having."

Updated 6-20-2013:

Tool renumbering bugs in Mastercam X7:

"In x7 i go in and change my tool number after it had already calculated the path once. And even though it shows my tool being the correct number when I post it comes out with the previous number. The only way I have seen to fix this is to force regenerate the tool path and then it posts correctly. Has anyone else had this problem?"

"I was hoping things like this would be fixed. I am still using X6, but when I change a tool #, it dirties the operation and I have to re-gen. The extra hour or two to re-gen everything is just ridiculous." 

Updated 6-13-2013:


Stock Models Cause Mastercam X7 To Crash And Are Bug Ridden: 

As posted to eMastercam:

"I have been having nothing but problems with stock models. Because the new Verify does not work well with STL's that are being saved out of it I have resorted to using stock models instead. Using the stock models was recommended by several membersof the forum as an alternative to the STL's. I can pretty much lock up X7 or crash it at will when using stock models. Can anyone elaborate on how they are acheiving success with the stock models. I am about at my wits end. I have crashed and or locked up X7 4 times in a row now just by adding one other operation to the stock model source and regenning. Also the regen times are pretty long for a pretty basic part and I have multi-thread enabled." 

"I have 32GB of ram and I am very often at 7+ GB of ram usage.. it still loves to crash though when doing large stock models.. this is also when its pegged at 100percent CPU as well though so I have kind of figured that was the reason."

"It can get kind of frustrating when you get several toolpaths done while you're waiting for it to regen, & then it crashes."

"The thing is that it is not that complicated of a part so I thought it should be able to handle it. Guess I was wrong."

"Oddly enough, whenever I tried to apply a contour toolpath with compensation type switch to off, the stockmodel just wouldn't calculate or would give some crazy result."

"... it seems like 2D contour ops for me always get dirty just from opening them to look at them.. which ends up making me regen any stock model I have since everything after them goes dirty.. kind of ruining the entire point of how they are supposed to save time.."

Updated: 6-10-2013:


A Typical Example Of Just How Poorly CNC Software Designs Mastercam:

As posted to eMastercam:

"OMG.. just realized this (ability to turn coolant on and off from the Machining Manager Tree) isnt there.. seriously.. so now we gotta open 18 billion freaking windows again to verify coolant settings on all the ops for a part.. what a huge step backward.. I really hope this was not intentional and that it will be re-added in a MU or something.. there is already far too much opening and closing windows to verify settings .. the ability to see coolant settings was one of the best improvements on that front in a long time.. "

"In X6 the coolant icon was correct only if you were using legacy posts/mmd with "old coolant" style. flood/mist/thru. Otherwise using current mmds with modern coolant controls the icon would not display properly. It was too much to fix apparently, so they just dropped it."

"....this seems to be a step backwards."

"Coolant icon didn't work (at all) properly in x6 with new mmd/posts. Therefor it is removed. Apparently rather complicated to get it function properly.

A semi-broken feature should never be in any software. "

"As for it being gone and not coming back well I guess it is what it is.. the only reason it bugs me at all is I really wish they would come up with a way to make the interface for toolpaths less dialog intensive, having spent several years doing web design and working with interface designers its a huge thing for users not to have to be continually drilling down through dialogs to get to options, the newer tree style toolpaths are much better than they were in the past but theres still a lot of work to be done in my opinion.. even making it so having a tree style toolpath open then being able to click on another without closing first would be huge.

Guess im just lazy but I hate having to open a window close a window open a window close a window.. "

Mastercam X7 Is A Total Mess:  

Mastercam users on eMastercam are having major problems with X7. Everything from corrupt tools using the new Tool Manager to this thread:

"Just When You Think It Can't Get Any Worse"

"I spent about three hours this morning programming a form tool using parallel and flowline toolpaths. Some of the Operations took 10 to 15 minutes to generate. Everything was fine until I decide to do a Raster toolpath. I selected surfaces set parameters selected tool and holder and as soon as I closed the op for it to generate I noticed it dirtied all my flowline and parallel toolpaths. So then I had to regenerate all of those dirtied ops. Anyone else seen this happen?"

"Don't blame you there. I am thinking about going back to X6 for now. I'm having so many issues with X7 that it's killing my programming time. "

"I just installed x7 and crashed while trying to close it... I'll tinker with it but sticking with X6 for now."

"Once again an issue that was posted about problems with X7 has been spun to positive promotion of the product. I still have not heard a response from the peanut gallery on why my operations dirtied just from selecting a tool holder in a high speed machining operation. I guess there are those of you who are willing to overlook these issues because they don't concern you. I am sure I am not the only one this has happened to. Along with the fact I keep getting corrupted tools and my tools get renumbered when I reopen a file I have nothing positive to say about X7."

Corrupt Tools In X7:

"I imported my tool library from x6. when I first started using x7 it was all there. now nothing at all. library is empty. I was going to post a question about it this morning"

"Yes happened to me just this morning. Had two 2 inch dia bull ems they were tool 1 and tool 2 with diiferent holders but were identical tools. Everything was fine last night when I saved. When I opened the file this morninig I got the corruted tools error. Mastercam renumbered both tools to tool 1. And some of the paths that were using tool 2 were now using tool 1."

"I had to delete tools form file and save file, reopen create 1 tool save close Mastercam reopen file and then create 2nd similar tool save file and then reopen to get it to work properly. Jeesh!!"

"Biggest issue I am having is that if I select the same tool and give it a different tool number and projection length it works fine while the file is in session. If I close the file and reopen it than I have duplicate tool numbers for the same tool. Very frustrating because then I have to renumber the tool and make sure it is being used in the correct operation then regen."

"Brand new X7 program that I just started this morning. Opened another file to make an edit, came back to this one, corrupt tool."

"Started a brand new X7 file. Used same tool from library but needed three different projections so therefore three different tool numbers. Worked on file for awhile saved and worked on another project for a few minutes came back to file with the three similar tools and got the corrupt tool error. Then I also had to renumber the tools because two of them had the same tool number. It also messed up my tool holder selection."

"I've had this problem since day one. Always with programs that use two of the same tools, (e.g. two 3/8 END MILLS) and with one or more toolpathgroups. Just 10 minutes ago I opened a file from Friday. One of two 3/16 e.m. was dirty. I delete it from the toolpath manager, add 3/16 E.M., regenerate, and then close mastercam. Open Masterscam again and the 1st 1/36 is dirty!!!!(the one that wasn't dirty in the first place) And the kicker is that it only got dirty in one of the machine groups. Where the first time it got dirty on both groups."

"I have same problem with different lengths of same tool diameter. The next time file is opened some tools are renumbered. The software should never change tool numbers as this is easy way to have a crash at the machine. This needs to be fixed now."

"I had this happen to me this morning. Yesterday I opened an X6 file, saved it as X7, made a few edits, posted the code.. no problems This morning I opened the X7 file and got the Corrupt File warning. It said 4 tools were corrupt, but only deleted one of them, A single point boring bar."

"We have 2x seats with full maintenance still on X5 and we skipped X6 and I'm waiting to go to X7.....but from what I'm reading about tool manager issues/changing tool numbers etc, it's frightening me to death."

"I opened a file that I was working on yesterday and my 45 Deg E.M. went kaboom!
Not only did it go ape stuff on the 45 deg operations, it also magically changed a 1/2 FLAT E.M. into a 45 DEG chamfer tool and those toolpaths too a hit as well.

Make a note that I close and open X7 many times during the day for this same reason. To catch bad tools doing bad stuff. This happened on 1st launch of X7 in the morning. I know X7 is buggy. So it has to be my fault...for using it. Proceed with caution homies. My program just made a counterbore where I wanted was a 45 chamfer."

"I had the corrupted tool problem today. The part was programmed complete, Then I re-opened it and it said several of my tools were corrupted. It changed tool numbers on some and deleted other tools. I think X7 isn't there yet. Think I'll wait for a while longer. Not worth the trouble. "

"It seems that if you try to have more than one tool with same diameter the next time you open the file all tools with the same diameters are messed up. I can see some bad things happening at the machine because of this. I hope they have a fix for this soon."

"It changed the tool order and the the wrong tool started to make a chamfer."



Update 5-24-2013:


Mastercam X7 is such a mess that today CNC Software announced that an update for X7 will be available in a few weeks. Mastercam users need to ask themselves why this keeps happening immediately after every major point release of Mastercam. My answer for why it keeps happening and what needs to be done about it is simple: CNC Software needs to be sold to an owner who cares and who doesn't live in fantasy land.

CNC Software's owner Mark Summer's obviously doesn't care about delivering reliable, quality CADCAM software and his miserable track record since the release of Mastercam X proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Mark Summers is a arrogant, hateful and spiteful man who thinks that banning users who have spoken up for years about these serious issues with Mastercam is the way to deal with Mastercam's serious problems.

Mastercam X7 should have *NEVER* have been released so early. This is typical of any Mastercam initial release since the start of Mastercam X and by now this pattern is beyond pathetic. Here are just a few of the comments on Mastercam X7 that were posted to eMastercam:

"After all the noise about X6 problems it seems CNC didn't learn from its mistakes and the maintenance $ thirst is still around... the problems with the new verify are simply ridiculous... if you guys can't integrate someone's else technology properly or this technology is not mature enough, then you should show more respect for the customers and hone it well before you release it... if Mastercam was a car I wonder how many casualities we would have by now...

It's a good time to review what you call "quality" software and the efforts of your beta testers. I'm sure people are catching these problems, but your bandwidth is not processing them. And your bandwidth problems are solely yours..."

"We currently are still using MCX6 because I'm not wasting our time until all these bugs get worked out. "

"On a couple simple parts the tool went COMPLETELY through the part, and did Not output an A move at all..... "

"I use planes a lot for multi sided parts and have seen a similar issue. The tool won't always go thru the part but will start at a arbitrary Z depth and position. Giving the offending toolpath and the one before it extra Clearance seemed to work better. Although we did get good posted code, most of the time we did not get a good Verify using planes."

"Same problem occur in transform-rotary. The tool always runs thru part from one hole to another. But this collision is false."

"X7 hides the toolpath during any view manipulation, previous versions don't."

"My toolbar icons randomly shuffles, Mastercam stop responding (i can rotate model, zoom etc, but no new window pop up when i try to create toolpath etc.) I deleted all registry entry in GUI and restart."

"X7 Did this to me today. It was working fine. I had two instances open to copy some programming from one to another. I used the export then import features to bring the toolpaths into the new program. I had a model for soft jaws in the source program that I also wanted to copy over. As soon as I did that the destination program crashed. I restarted it and it immediately crashed right away. Did that a few more times. So then I tried to save and close the source program and it would not close. So I forced it to close and when restarting it would just immediately crash."

"I'm just wondering if anyone else is having this issue with X7? I am running Windows 7 with MasterCam X7. Everytime I click on something else, my MasterCam window turns white.
If i click on it, it turns back to what i was working on."

"I have same problem after updating to X7, but McamX7 have many more bugs that interfere with work. This bug is smallest."

"I have problem with button 'set the origin of the selected view to 0,0,0' in view manager. The value of X and Y coordinates different from 0. When I pushing this button the values don't changes to 0. In McamX6 it works properly."

"I just started using X-7, I exclusively program 5 axis mill turns. I am having ALOT of issues with the verification bombing out on multi axis tool paths.We have actually run several of the programs I could not get to verify. Errors are 1) bad allocation 2) Could not create a solid-intersector for a tool element in SimulateToolElement_OnListSurface0!"

"The tool manager crashes frequently. It even crashed during the webinar."

"I don't have to be working in tool manager for it to crash, I just have it open on the side and it just comes up with an error and closes."

"I was hoping X7 would have been delayed a little longer since I really didn't think it was ready for prime time."


Update 5-9-2013:


Mastercam X7 have been released despite the fact that the new ModuleWorks solid cut part simulation has got major issues. Hoping you can still use the old Mastercam Verify when you have problems with the new Verify? ... not a chance as all the code for the old Verify (MachineWorks) solid cut part verification has been ripped out of X7.

CNC Software is well aware that there are major problems with the new Verify and with the new Backplotter. As per usual CNC Software simply doesn't care because their focus was on pushing X7 out the door as soon as possible to stem the tide of those switching to far better CADCAM products. Some of the serious problems with the new X7 Verify from ModuleWorks have been discussed on eMastercam:

"You are seriously going to release that soon with the way that Verify functions? It is so coarse and grainy I have a hard time using it. I don't feel comfortable using it the way that it works."

"It seems the bigger the part the worse the aliasing gets. I have also noticed that you can’t even save out an STL file without it being garbled up as well. Here is a part I was working on that is 112 inches long. You can see that it’s barely recognizable. If this is how the final release will be I will be forced to stick with X6."

"Unfortunately Mastercam has been a work in process for a long time. I know what they are doing is no small task. But as and end user I don't think X7 should be released with the Verify functioning like this. If the Verify is a "Work In Progress" than don't release it till it is done. I'm not flaming here I'm just being honest. We pay good money for this software and maintenance and I think we deserve better than this."

"I had MAJOR verify issues in the Betas, and even the first RC."

"I'll definitely be going back to X6 till this gets sorted out.... It's just some easy transform paths, would have thought this would be sorted out after the 1st Beta???"

"the backplot/verify is Crazy Slow too.... It's not my computer hardware because everything was speedy in X6. "

"this is almost unusable as of now."

"Already submitted several files on this one, and just now tried something a little more complex that 2.5 axis milling on standard stock setup.

The bugs are still there. Its just no longer crashing to the desktop.

If Im using a face Mill, I get the error "zero length line", the tool doesnt display, and the verify is incorrect

If I try 3 X 2 milling, std end mill, and select a solid for the stock, (orthogonal solid) i get this error :
"could not create a solid-intersector for a toolElement in SimulateToolElement_OnListSurface()!"

followed by this error:
"bad allocation"

Followed by this error:

then the stock disappears"

"Any file I have saved out of X7's verification is so chunky and deformed that it is impossible for me to use it in that state. Any help would be appreciated because as it stands right know I will not be moving to X7. "

"I have already done all that and it still looks like crap!! I can't believe anybody is okay with the Verification working like this!"

"... this is totally unacceptable for me and the way I work."

"I remember reporting this in one of the preview releases and they told me that was going to be fixed for release."

"I just tried the most simple Transform Rotate toolpath (4th axis) I could think of. Mill two slots on top, rotate from Right view and repeat on bottom.

Wouldn't even post an A move, tool goes right through the part????"

"Well it looks like no one has a good answer for the STL file issue. I was hoping to hear that there was a workaround that is commonplace in Mastercam. The Verify worked bad in the beta and release candidate and I was told that it would be better in the production release. Well that didnt happen! How can anyone possibly say they are okay with this. I don't get it. I actually thought that this new verification would be a step in the right direction. Boy was I wrong or should I say mislead."

Update 4-5-2013:

Here are the facts about Mastercam file stability once you pass the 100 meg file size. From what I've seen so far in X7 this hasn't been dealt with. As posted to eMastercam:

"I've had fairly good success up to around 100MB, but then after that, it can be full of adventure."

"I am struggling with a 300MB file at the moment. Think the stock models are choking it up. Unfortunate as I like the extra refinement it achieves with the rest mill toolpathes."

"... anything over about 200 Mb gets really sluggish, with long waits for things to get done. "

"The cavity insert I recently finished ended up at 1.4GB for rough / semi and 1.2GB for finishing, I think the core was 2.1GB. Takes 10 minutes or so just to open the files."

"I had to break my paths up into quadrants, otherwise I'd end up with "memory" errors while generating. Every few paths I'd restart Mcam, otherwise I'd end up with 0 byte NCI files."

"You must have the patience of a saint to work like that !! I am getting frustrated with the "quirkiness" at 300MB file size and have started to divide files up from that size. Currently up to 3 files for the cavity I'm programming." 

Count on core basics like the ability to handle large files not being fixed in Mastecam X7. This makes many of the new enhancements in Mastercam X6 and X7 next to worthless. These are the same core problems that existed in  X2, X3, X4, X5 and X6. Anyone see a pattern here?


Update 2-12-2013:

When will Mastercam be able to handle a stock model like this?  For sure it won't be in X7!

It's all about the stock model and what happens when the stock model is a real solid rather than a tessellated mesh. The CADCAM product above is the only one I'm aware of that's got the right idea!

In the real world, trying to manipulate (rotate, flip, mate, etc) tessellated meshes is a major pain in the ass so trying to solid cut part simulate machining over multiple setups often isn't possible or practical. It doesn't get any more real world problem not solved than this! : (

Even if you spend 20K or more on Vericut or NC Simul, it's still not the answer to this problem.


Update 2-3-2013: 

CNC Software Will Continue To Avoid Fixing Most Of The Core Problems With Mastercam In X7

It's painfully obvious to me that CNC Software continues to do everything possible to avoid fixing the core problems in Mastercam. We see this in the very slow progress for increased Levels functionality, very slow progress for increased Viewsheet functionality, no progress on horrible obsolete graphics, terrible solid chaining, solids selection that is a freaking joke it's so bad, inability to handle files with many solids, solids needing to be converted to surfaces to get reliability / stability.

There is still no Setup group in the Mastercam Machining Operations Manager like you have for Toolpath and Machines groups. This means that every single machining operation needs to be individually assigned a WCS, a Toolpath Plane and a Construction Plane. Having to do this is insane and it makes dragging and dropping toolpaths to a new Toolpath Group that uses a different WCS, a different Toolpath Plane and a different Construction Plane a real pain in the ass even if you use Edit Common Parameters to make the change.

When it comes to 4th axis work you have to manually create a Toolpath Plane and a Construction Plane for every side of the part you want to machine on (unless it's the same machining operation and you use Transform Toolpath)! You don't have to do this in better designed programs where all you do is put the WCS in the middle of your axis or rotation and the system automatically takes care of the rest for you.

It's my belief that CNC Software has moved away from MachineWorks(Verify) and gone with ModuleWorks Simulation (Mastercam Machine Simulation) because it has its own graphics engine. I strongly believe that Mastercam Verify (MachineWorks) has been abandoned by CNC Software and left to die in Mastercam. Everyone else using MachineWorks solid cut part simulation has always gotten much better results with it than Mastercam has. Over a year ago MachineWorks went multi-threaded and products like Delcam Featurecam implemented it. This has resulted in much better and much faster solid cut part simulation!

Unfortunately ModuleWorks Simulation having its own graphics engine doesn't help other areas of Mastercam that are so far behind and require a decent graphics pipeline such as Chaining and solids rendering. Never will you see CNC Software employees comment on this. The best I've seen is this video which shows how far behind Mastercam is at solids selection. A lot of the stuff talked about in this video didn't even make into X7. Lots of CADCAM products have had the kind of solid selection tools shown in this video for many years now:

It's the underlying core of Mastercam that's so broken and CNC Software is doing everything possible to avoid fixing it:

Huge mistakes were made when Mastercam moved from V9 to X. I believe this is the reason why most of the major improvement we see in X7 like the new Tool Manager (Really looks to be outstanding. Hope it works as good as it looks!) are outside of the core of Mastercam. I think this new Tool Manager is actually a separate application that communicates with Mastercam X7.

Mastercam makes the worst use of solids for toolpathing of any CAM system I've ever used. Below are quotes that prove just how bad solids are for toolpathing in Mastercam. After 6 major releases (or more) that this is the case is just pathetic. Even some of the most ardent Mastercam fanboi's, who have made excuse after excuse for poor design and implementation of solids n Mastercam for years now, have had enough.

"i completely quit using solid selection when toolpathing. i always create a surface from the solid and then use those surfaces for toolpathing. my problems seemed to go away."

"Why can someone buy a xbox game for 25$ that has hyper-realistic amazing graphics, while for the past 5 years we can't get a solid face displayed correctly! IMHO someone needs to man-up and roll some heads in the graphics dept back at cnc. Hell hire a few game designers."

“Why can I go to any hardware store and get a free design your own kitchen or back yard deck software disk and the graphics are better than Mastercam”

"I started using MC about 6 months ago myself (new job and all) and I have to say I was at a total loss as to why I had to create curves as well. I was used to programming entirely from the 3D model (Powermill). However, with MC, using the 3D model to program is waste of time for the most part, and it appears as though the majority of your programs are created using wireframe that is created from the 3D model, either in surface or solid form."

"You have absolutely no idea just how much I miss my Delcam products. I had to leave it to stay gainfully employed being as my last place of work went under. Believe me, the first chance I get to go back to working with PM, I will jump all over it"

"Of course there are work-arounds with creating curves but it'd be nice to be able to fully drive tool paths on a a single solid model."

"I have had the same issues with selecting from a solid model. This has been a problem for some time. Just like all the other bugs this one will probably never get fixed"

Excuses and workarounds offered on why after 7 major releases Mastercam solid chaining is still  badly broken from an employee of the Mastercam reseller who has a monopoly for selling Mastercam in Canada:

"Why not create curves on all edges and then use the wireframe chaining options. If your determined to get the solid chaining to work for you then try selecting your part differently. Maybe try selecting a top edge of the solid instead of the bottom edge."

A response from a smarter Mastercam user who knows B.S. when he see's it in regards to the above lame excuse and suggested workaround:

"This is all good, but you should be able to select from the model. Why do they even have the option if you end up having to create curves on edges?"

Failure To Make Full Use Of The Information A Solid Model Contains: 


CNC Software has claimed that Mastercam X was a rewrite from the ground up. That's bullshit. Mastercam X was not a total rewrite from the ground up and anyone who believes this is drinking the Mastercam fanboi Kool-Aid. Unfortunately, everything in Mastercam is based off an over 25 year old wireframe geometry engine that relies on manual Chaining. The geometry engine in Mastercam relies on manual Chaining because wireframe geometry is dumb and doesn't have the kind of built in intelligence that a solid model does. Until the wireframe geometry engine in Mastercam is removed and replaced with a modern solids based geometry engine, Mastercam will continue to be the bug filled, unreliable and out dated system it has become. Think about this; everything you do in Mastercam is based on manual Chaining from creating solids (except primitives) to toolpaths. You are always wasting time manually Chaining something in Mastercam. What's worse is how modal Chaining is in Mastercam. The following was posted to eMastercam on 4-12-2012 and expresses frustration on how little CNC Software listens to users about making Chaining less modal. It's especially frustrating when an free add-in can do what Mastercam still can't do after ten years:

"Why hasn't this been incorporated into MC yet? It was in V9 (and all previous versions) and someone decided it wasn't needed any longer when X came out. I bitched about it back then. Selecting chains is HUGE in my opinion. The current MC options for selecting chains, which I'm very familiar with, do not offer the same functionality. Since it has been removed, Takashi Sato from AI solutions has created an addon, Verisurf has created an addon, and who knows who else. Can no one at CNC Software read the writing on the wall?"

"I jumped on X+ solely for the chain selection tool."

Questions Mastercam Users Should Be Asking Themselves:

If Mastercam X was a total rewrite, as claimed, why are the graphics in Mastercam X the same as in DOS based Mastercam V9? Graphics in Mastercam are a bad joke. Chaining is thin and hard to see, direction arrows are wireframe instead of shaded and often disappear with part rotation. Wireframe lines aren't sharp and crisp compared to modern CAD systems like SolidWorks, etc. With a graphics pipeline that needs replacement how can anyone expect quality solid cut part verification graphics for MTM  programming that's supposedly coming for Mastercam?

Why does Mastercam have so many floating dialog boxes when modern CADCAM Windows programs do everything possible to not block the model? What is the reason that tabs can't be added to Mastercam's Machining Operation Manager to get rid of all the floating dialog boxes that constantly have to be dragged out of the way to get to the part model? Wouldn't functions like Analyze Entity Properties be better off displaying information in the Machining Operations Manager under an Analyze tab?

Why are Mastercam FBM Mill and FBM Drill so poorly designed compared to how CAMWorks or Featurecam handle feature recognition?

What program besides Mastercam has a "Ram Saver"?

Why is a "Ram Saver" needed?

Why is drilling so bad in Mastercam that if you want quality drilling you have to spend thousands of extra dollars for Pro-Drill? What other CAM program besides Mastercam has an add-in for drilling?

Why do programs like CAMWorks and TopSolid CADCAM require so little Chaining but Mastercam requires constant Chaining?

Solid Chaining is so bad in Mastercam that you often end up with so many tiny chains. Most experienced Mastercam users don't use solid chaining and instead use wireframe chaining. In better systems like Missler TopSolid CADCAM 7 most of the time you don't need to chain at all because TopSolid CADCAM 7 makes proper use of the solid model and constantly keeps track of the stock.

Why do you have to constantly regenerate dirty machining operations in Mastercam?

Why do machining operations often go dirty just from opening a Machining Parameters dialog box even if you make no changes?

If CNC software has the needed software developers why has Mastercam never had good graphics and why does Mastercam have the worst implementation of MachineWorks of any CAM product that uses MachineWorks?

Why does Mastercam For SolidWorks have many of the same problems that stand alone Mastercam has? Mastercam For SolidWorks was a great chance for a fresh start. That Mastercam For SolidWorks suffers from many of the exact same problems that stand alone Mastercam does shows how poor of a job CNC Software does at designing software. The fact is that CNC Software is a sales leader but not a technology leader.

Why does the solid cut part simulation in Mastercam for SolidWorks have such poor graphics just like the solid cut part simulation in Mastercam does?

What is the reason the same piece of crap View Manager exists in Mastercam For SolidWorks that stand alone Mastercam has? Does anyone else who makes a CAM program that runs inside of SolidWorks have to resort to this horribly designed and modal View Manager? The View Manager is buggy and is modal and can't be left open so you can't easily change views on the fly.

Why doesn't Mastercam have a Profiler which works dynamically? It's a hell of a lot faster and easier to extract wireframe used for toolpath boundries, etc. with a dynamic Profiler than it is to use a static one like Mastercam has. For those who have never used a dynamic Profiler Gibbscam has one.

Why does the Mastercam Level Manager lack functionality like being able to freeze and thaw levels and why can't assign colors to a Level only to Entities? If you leave the Level Manager open constantly you end up with all kinds of weird errors when trying to copy entities from one level to another. One of the few things in Mastercam that isn't modal and you can't even leave it open without having problems.

The reason there isn't a tab in the Machining Operations Manager for Levels is?

Why is the user interface in Mastercam so modal? You constantly have to close a dialog window, open another and then close that window to get back to where you were.

For ten years or more you have been able to click on wireframe elements in Featurecam's backploter and have the machining operation that created the wireframe element highlight. I suggested this improvement in Mastercam to CNC Software over five years ago. Naturally Mastercam still can't do it and I have no doubt its never been given serious consideration by CNC Software.  It doesn't help that Mastercam fanboi and CADCAM idiot James Meyette (CNC Apps Guy 1) claims on the eMastercam forum that if Mastercam offered this it would be a memory and graphics hog. "Yeah, no kidding, you have to actually draw the toolpath motion segments, imagine what a memory and graphics hog that would be." This is the same moron that for years has failed to comprehend that you need powerful CAD to have powerful CAM and that fully integrated CADCAM has huge benefits.

Why is Mastercam CAD so dumb that I have to tell it I want to be in solid selection mode? What modern CAD system has a solid selection mode?

Unfortunately the CAD part of Mastercam is so dumb that you have to extract the wireframe edges from your solid faces which is yet another way Mastercam wastes massive amounts of time.

Why can't you drag a tool out of the tool library and into the graphics area as a shaded model to see if you have enough flute length and stick out?

Why is it that only CNC Software / Mark Summers has problems with Celerative / VoluMill and no other company has had a problem?

How can CNC Software ever be truly successful with their new HST toolpaths if they don't make proper use of the solid model and instead continue to rely on tons of manual user input with wireframe Chaining? You end up Chaining so much in Mastercam that your wrist gets sore.
One of the biggest lies often repeated on eMastercam is that "it's hard to beat the over all functionality of MC in a 2d realm". This is total B.S. because: 

CAMWorks, TopSolid, Featurecam all make Mastercam look like the dated joke it is in the "2d realm". Mastercam and Mastercam For SolidWorks don't keep constant track of the stock model like TopSolid does. Mastercam and Mastercam For SolidWorks have very poor feature recognition that only works with FBM Mill and FBM Drill which are both sad, pathetic jokes compared to how feature recognition works in CAMWorks, Featurecam or TopSolid. Mastercam and Mastercam For SolidWorks make the worst use of MachineWorks (Mastercam Verify) in the business.

Mastercam toolpathing doesn't make full use of a solid model so you often have to convert your solid model into a surface model. No one has to do this is a modern properly designed CADCAM system and it's just one of many reason that Mastercam is so far behind and a follower rather than a leader in CAM technology.

Tools and tool holders can't be stored together which means you constantly have to assemble tools.

Mastercam has some nice Analyze tools. Too bad they open in dialog Windows that have to be dragged out of the way constantly. The reason that information from Analyze tools can't be displayed in a separate tab in the Operations Manager so you don't have to constantly drag dialog Windows out of the way is?

Attributes: Open in a dialog Window that has to be dragged out of the way constantly. The reason that information from Attributes:can't be displayed in a separate tab in the Operations Manager so you don't have to constantly drag dialog Windows out of the way is?

Entity Attributes Manager: Opens in a dialog Window that has to be dragged out of the way constantly. The reason that information from the Entity Attributes Manager:can't be displayed in a seperate tab in the Operations Manager so you don't have to constantly drag dialog Windows out of the way is?

If Mastercam is going to rely on Tree Style dialog boxes at least put a button in that allows the user to go straight into Simulation and then when Simulation is done bring the Tree Style dialog box back up automatically. Right now this is a 4 step process. Close, Open, Close, Open... my time is valuable. Stop wasting it!

If CNC Software can't build a decent graphics engine they should license HOOPS from Techsoft3D. Mastercam has the worst graphics of any CAM system I've ever seen. It's an embarrassment and CNC Sofware should be ashamed of how Mickey Mouse the graphics in Mastercam truly are. Another option might be using Redway3D which is what Missler TopSolid CADCAM uses.

Toolpath Editing: Point based Toolpath Editing sucks. Get a copy of SmartCAM and see how Toolpath Editing really should be done. It's called Entity Editing and you use all the same tools that you use for Geometry creation and modification for Toolpath Editing. I'd like the ability to use metric tools in an inch program and vise verse. I don't want to convert my tools on the fly. Mastercam should match the way things work in the real world.

Welcome To The World Of Bugs, Workarounds, Incremental Backups And Frustration:

There are still Mastercam fanboi's who continue to wish to argue that Mastercam isn't a very buggy and unreliable program and that it isn't any worse then say Gibbscam when it comes to stability. In the last 5 years I've used Mastercam on all the different Windows operating systems both 32 bit and 64 bit. I've used Mastercam with at least 6 different kinds of Nvidia Quadro graphics cards including high end ones which cost thousands of dollars. I've used Mastercam versions X2-X5 and without exception all experienced "white outs" when regenerating toolpath, all could not handle large files properly, all had lousy graphics highlighting, all had problems when it came to picking drive surfaces and check surfaces for surfacing toolpath.

What follows is what one former Mastercam fanboi, who is beginning to get much more realistic about the massive problems Mastercam has, now says. He has correctly recognized that the foundation that Mastercam is built on is very badly broken and outdated and that it needs to be completely rewritten. Here is what he posted to e-Mastercam today. I've cleaned up the grammar and punctuation as the posters native language isn't English:

"Mastercam is stable while the file is small with simple geometry and a couple of toolpaths. When you have some different 30-100 solids of parts, tools and fixtures and a huge amount of wireframe geometry on different layers and 4-10 machine groups with 300 toolpaths then things look very different. That`s for a starters. The heavier the file, the more chances for bugs, crashes and different problems. Welcome to the world of bugs, workarounds, incremental backups. and frustration."

While I agree with the above I've also experienced serious reliability problems with small files and just one solid and a few surfacing toolpaths in Mastercam.

This morning (3-19-2012) I read this on eMastercam which lets me know I'm not the only one who has experienced "bugs, workarounds, incremental backups. and frustration." on small Mastercam files:

"This is very true, the bigger the project, the worse the bugs become. But I have experienced problems with smaller, simple projects as well." "... we all know that (X6) MU1 won't fix all the issues that have been in every release since X, why suddenly decide to fix issues that have been around for last five releases now !!"

Update 2-5-2012:

What is the logic behind calling work coordinate systems "views"? Why isn't a solid drawing layout associated to the solid part model so when the part model changes the solid layout updates. Why should I have do the solid layout all over again if the part model changes? Other areas of Mastercam have associativity but this doesn't. Apparently CNC Software doesn't think associativity from part to drawing is important. What is the logic of having tool holders defined with machining parameters rather than with a tool definition? Why is there no quick and easy way to show all the wireframe geometry associated to a solid model?  Its been well over ten years and yet Mastercam still isn't able to properly chain a solid model!